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Short Takes

The threat to rural MN is real

THUMBS DOWN:

The argument that COVID-19 is not a threat to rural Minnesotans is becoming less convincing by the day. Lincoln County is rural Minnesota. So is Pipestone County. Both counties are experiencing spikes in positive cases. In response to that spike, Avera Tyler held a community testing event on Wednesday with more 200 tests conducted by noon. Five deaths have been recorded among the 103 total cases in Pipestone County.

Walz protecting his state

THUMBS DOWN:

Criticism has been directed toward Gov Tim Walz’s extension of the peacetime state of emergency due to the pandemic. That criticism is misdirected. It should be directed toward the federal government for the lack of leadership. That lack of leadership has forced governors like Walz to take action. It also has forced major retailers to take matters in their own hands and put mandatory mask policies in place at their stores. Not surprising, recent nationwide polling of Americans has revealed an erosion of faith in the federal government in handling this pandemic.

Keeping an eye on the clouds

THUMBS UP:

We commend the fast action by Cpl. Adam Baumann of the Marshall Police Department for spotting a wall cloud forming above Marshall Saturday and then alerting Police Chief Jim Marshall. Marshall contacted the National Weather Service and activated the tornado sires. It ended up being somewhat of a false alarm as the funnels dissipated. However, nobody knows for sure what Mother Nature has in store for us. Better safe than sorry.

Don’t hide the virus numbers

THUMBS DOWN:

The White House has ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington. One has to wonder the motivation behind this decision? The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public. Trump officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug show to be effective against the virus. We question that argument, because that data was always been available to the White House, health officials, researchers and the public. Any hint of politicizing or hiding data for any reason will violate the trust of U.S. citizens.

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